Down To Earth speaks to historian Ben Kingsbury, who, in his book An Imperial Disaster: The Bengal Cyclone of 1876, says natural disasters are not simply natural, but shaped by all-too-human patterns of exploitation and inequality
'Policy dialogues around food security and climate adaptation need to draw from different disciplines'
Celia Petty is the co-founder and director of Evidence for Development (EfD), an UK-based organisation that specialises in research and capacity building for poverty alleviation, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction with focus on Africa. She recently spoke to Subhojit Goswami about food security, livelihood diversification and challenges in designing effective adaptation …
'We have to use the Paris Agreement for a strong agenda forward'
Sweden will pass a law next year to become carbon-neutral by 2045. Eva Svedling, the State Secretary to the Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, who recently visited India to discuss Indo-Swedish collaboration on climate change and sustainability solutions, tells Rajat Ghai how Sweden plans to achieve its climate change mitigation goals
"Snow leopard habitat may be lost due to climate change"
The snow leopard is facing a huge threat from climate change and a hostile human population in Pakistan. Muhammad Ali Nawaz, an authority on the endangered species, speaks to Rajat Ghai about his conservation strategy that enabled the coexistence of local communities with carnivores, and reduced human-animal conflicts. Nawaz recently won the Whitley Award, popularly known as the Green Oscar, …
'All these sites have multiple stresses affecting them. Climate change only adds to that'
Adam Markham, Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) Deputy Director for Climate and Energy and lead author of UNESCO’s recent report on World Heritage sites (“World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate (2016)") spoke to Down To Earth. Excerpts...
'India can learn from other regions on the need to adopt proactive drought management policies'
FAO expert Mohamed Bazza speaks on how climate change is expected to make drought worse and how the adoption of proactive drought management policies can help vulnerable people
'The Arctic will have a whole new face by 2050'
The Arctic changes faster than any other region and is a crucial indicator of climate change. The Norwegian Polar Institute, Norway, launched a unique research expedition in early 2015 in the Arctic Ocean to specially study young ice as it forms and melts on top of sea ice. Dinesh C Sharma speaks to Jan-Gunnar Winther, director of the institute. Excerpts
'Indigenous communities are key stakeholders in the climate change talks'
Ekai Nabenyo, 24, is the founder and chair of the Lorengelup Community Development Initiative, Kenya. An ethnic Turkana tribesman, he talks to Down To Earth about how climate change is affecting the life of his people and what he expects from COP21 later this month
‘Bangladesh a veritable laboratory to study climate change action’
Saleemul Huq is the director at the International Centre for Climate Change & Development (ICCCAD) since 2009. Huq is also a senior fellow at the International Institute for Environment & Development (IIED) where he is involved in building negotiating capacity and supporting engagement of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) at United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).…
Reconstructing atmospheric history
Old paintings can provide information about the composition of the atmosphere of bygone ages. When a volcano erupted in Indonesia in 1815, painters in Europe painted bright red and orange sunsets. Ash and gases released during major volcanic erruptions can make sunsets appear more red, says Christos Zerefos, professor of atmospheric physics at the Academy of Athens in Greece.Ã”Ã‡Ãª…
'Let us internalise the relation we need to have with nature'
Jonathon Porritt wears many hats. A pioneer of green politics in the UK, sustainability campaigner, media personality and writer. His latest book, The World We Made, is an environmental thriller set in 2050. Porritt spoke with Pradip Saha about his futuristic take on some of the sustainability issues we face today
Dealing with crop stresses and scandals
Subbanna Ayyappan has made history in the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (IACR) by becoming the first non-crop scientist to head this hoary institution. His is not an enviable task. Presiding over a network that has close to 100 institutions but with limited funds, he has the difficult task of juggling finances, ensuring that his 4,000-odd scientists are achieving national objectives …